tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 4, 2015 2:30am-4:31am EDT
that's my segue into that would come an issue of inclusion, i think this is one of most important issues facing the region right now. we know it is still the most unequal region in the world. there are terrific statistics in the paper about the way in which inequality has been reduced in the 2,000's and that has been impressive, but it's from high level of inequality and more needs to be done. the numbers we've seen a people moving into the middle class in this hemisphere are staggered. -- staggering. they are impressive. those have to be sustained and that in itself is difficult, especially with commodity prices softening, so we need diversification of an economy, but also when you to remember how many people were left out of that process. whether it's because of geography, whether it's because they are a vulnerable population group, indigenous groups, afro latinos, women. that push to get those benefits
out to more people has to be doubled, has to be made more real. and that brings us to the issue of education where we know there is a huge deficit in the region. the region's higher education institutions remain not up to the challenge of the 21st century, and many leaders recognize this. so we will continue to push where we can with 100,000 strong in the america's program, which was now awarded 38 innovation grants to 100 higher education institutions in 12 countries. i am proud we are continuing to work on this and really moving ahead with a lot of private sector partnerships in a lot of countries, but we need to do even more at partnering. we know that wholesale connection, what we are doing is connecting institutions to institution. we are not funding individual scholarships. we know that connecting
universities and colleges to universities and colleges will raise the number of students who go on these exchanges faster than funding individual scholarships. we have seen the numbers of students rising over the last couple of years by 12-13% in each direction already. we have to get that up even higher. we know that these models work and they work not just at the harvard, yale and stanford. in fact, it's much more important that we focus on community colleges in the united states, and a growing number of countries that are looking at this model for their own use. technical colleges, in mexico and other things that are training students for 21st century jobs that are not, and i am a deeply committed social science person and humanities person, but that are not necessary going
to make them unemployable with an anthropology degree or a degree in one of the sciences, social sciences that they may not be able to use. an example would be a woman named my ra from a small community in honduras who obtained a degree in business management for making nerdy college in iowa through seed -- which is scholarship education and economic development would be putting $50 million for 1300 students. mira established when she went back to honduras a coffee company which helped a group of traditional small coffee farmers export to the united states tripling their profit. it returned more than $30,000 to farmers through its profit sharing and social welfare program. which is really, really powerful. the last thing you want to talk about is energy and the environment because the other impediment that we know keeps
areas of this hemisphere from realizing their full potential is high cost of energy in some places, and what we are looking at in this hemisphere on the other side of the issue on climate change is huge energy resources to be exploited, enormous, enormous wealth in the energy sector, but the possibility of doing it responsibly and sustainably as we face climate change crises around the globe, especially when we look at increasing weather events in central america that can be disastrous an obvious concern in the caribbean and island states. more than 31 million citizens in this hemisphere lack affordable energy, and we expect electricity demand in this region to double over the next decade. which is why will launch the energy and climate partnership of the americas and connecting the americas 2022, to promote renewable energy, efficiency cleaner fossil fuels, resilient
infrastructure and intercommunication interconnection rather. there are a number of examples i could give you on this but we are seeing much greater connectivity among countries in central america, now completed the connection in 2014 that connected 37 million consumers in costa rica, el salvador, guatemala, nicaragua and panama. we know that energy costs, electricity rates, energy costs and central america and the caribbean are way above what many other countries taken a special what we pay in the united states and that is holding back economic progress unless we can encourage connectivity and the ability to move energy from the places in the hemisphere that have it and
are developing it to places in hemisphere that will never be self-sustaining on energy, at least not in the short term, and bring those energy costs down, we will never be able to overcome cycles of economic difficulty. and with it, cycles of migration, poverty and violence such as we see in central america and the caribbean, until we tackle those energy crises and the structural problems. so i think in all of those areas we have initiatives that we will be bringing to the summit, ways to tackle pragmatic problems that frankly are not based on ideology and that we're willing to engage on with every country in the hemisphere, every country in the hemisphere. any country that wants to partner with us. because they are in all of our interests. that's the way the partnership should be based, on mutual interest. because that's the way most countries should structure their foreign policy, not on ideology but on mutual interest because
harold: i want to start off by thank you for joining us here another brookings. it's wonderful to have an opportunity to talk about a -- the state of inter-american relations suspicion as we look forward to the summit and events beyond the summit and i think you will find a large number of friends in the audience. i see people with great experience in the summit talks including max and others. roberta: another godfather of summits. harold: and alex is here.
i think you can expect some very informed questions on the audience but we will start at first with just the conversation among us for going to the audience comes something that richard and i thought would be important to talk about absolute for. and i think one of the things is i think i agree with you that if we think back to cartagena there was friction around a number of issues, president obama received it is a on issues related to counter-narcotics, cuba, immigration policy. the administration has taken initiatives in these areas, and that sort of cleared the deck in many ways of the kinds of things that were sources of friction in the past. but now as we look forward to the summit that is coming up on -- are there some flashpoints or problem areas that you see like the come is an issue for the present next week?
roberta: i think there always are individual issues. i don't know that i see them as really broadly based. there are always a concern that we are not paying enough attention, that there are, you know, so many crises elsewhere that we really should pay more attention to this part of the world. there are, i know that there are concerns over the actions that were taken on venezuela and the sanctions. i do think those have been explained pretty well, and i think folks understand that they were the result of language that is always used. they are not a prelude to invasion, we have no desire to overthrow a government. but on the whole, i don't see the large sort of systemic issues. if you look, for example, at counter-narcotics, i believe that the administration's message on taking a public health-based approach at home
has been much, much better understood in the three years since cartagena and had been going into it. and if you look around the hemisphere at the experiments taking place, whether it's in uruguay or elsewhere coming to -- look to the united states, clearly we are all wrestling with the same issue of what works. i don't see the big systemic issue. were focused on getting tpp done, but even those who don't support a particular free trade agreement are looking for ways to deepen engagement on trade. so i don't know that i see, some in the audience may raise issues with me that i am not outlining, but i do see that we still need we still have a lot of work to do. we have a new secretary-general at the o.a.s.
we will be hopefully working on revitalization of that architecture and organization but i don't see as many big complaints, i guess. harold: one issue you did raise was the issue of venezuela and the issue of the target sanctions against seven government officials and the reaction from venezuela and in mr. on this issue. can you talk about what consideration was given for the timing of that decision, and was there discussion about what can issues for the president and panama next week? roberta: i think wasn't of the things you have to remember is that that legislation in congress have been pending for two years. and it had been working its way through the house and passed in the house and working its way through the senate for a very long time. when i know it made its way to the president's desk we have been working since the mission began around the time of the discussions were held.
so from last march. so there was a pretty long period of our believing deeply that we should let the south american countries make that effort of trying to get things moving in venezuela. there is a dialogue held between the opposition and the government. we really did believe strongly that it was important to let that play out, but we found it difficult to continue to argue that there was a process in place when there were no talks going on, and for quite a few months did not have a mission going back and forth. so it was difficult to see where they would be a process that was engaging from externally, nor was there process and drilling in venezuela and there was quite a bit that was, that looked like
it was not moving in the right direction, additional detentions and so forth, no releases to speak of. there were one or two because people were not well, et cetera, but not major releases. concerns to be honest for the upcoming election and whether the structure for that election was going to be adequate to have a really free and fair election. i think the hope was that we needed to move ahead to send a message. these were very, very targeted with not a lot of people at all, and they were people we felt very strongly we could not allow access to our banking system. obviously these actions had been taken previously, but there was a desire not to have this be as much of an issue in the summit
and, therefore, to do it before. clearly the language that is in the standard executive order was considerably more neuralgic that -- than i think some people realized, but i think it was also whipped into a bit of a frenzy by venezuela leadership. and i was, i will confess, disappointed that there were not more who defended the fact that clearly this was not intended to hurt the venezuelan people or the venezuelan government even as a whole and did not more clearly explain or elucidate we see a did for them, in advance, because we did talk to
governments in advance of the sanctions, that this was really very, very narrowly targeted. harold: thanks. i have some more questions but i think richard wants to jump in here. richard: thanks very much. roberta, thanks very much for your kind words. i really appreciate it. and congratulations to you on your leadership. and as harold said, for previous and a much improved position going into this summit than we were just three years ago in cartagena with the president was very must isolate on issues of issues. i especially congratulate you on orchestrating the timing of the iranian nuclear court, because between the iranian nuclear accord and moving forward on cuba, the president will ride into panama in a very enhanced position to he will be the net is, as a man of dialogue. i think you'll be very hard for anyone at the summit to really take him on with those accolades
on his shoulders. so well done, roberta. [applause] so, cuba. what can you tell us about a possible interaction between president obama and president castro in cuba, and panama? and can you tell us anything about what secretary kerry might do in terms of interacting with his counterparts from cuba or other delegations. there there be a photo op? will it be handshakes? with there be smiles? possibly bilateral meetings? can you tell us anything about that? and on the ceo summit agenda there is a line item which says speech on trade and investment opportunities in cuba. speaker to be announced. who might be giving that address? roberta: i think on the last question, it is probably best to ask luis since they are helping to set up or are running the summit.
but i think, you know, someone from a large island in the caribbean would be a good person to give that statement. i think on the question of the interactions, clearly, clearly president obama knew when he made the decision to go to the summit and he knew that cuba had been invited to the summit, post december 11, december 17, that there would be an interaction at the summit that the leaders are together a lot of the time. and so there will be an interaction with raul castro. none of the president's meetings are scheduled other than his bilateral with president maduro as the host so i don't know exactly what kind of an interaction that will be. but they have spoken on the phone as he had said publicly on the 17th when you made the announcement, there's been a lot of interaction since then at a lower level.
secretary kerry has spoken with his counterpart, with mr. rodriguez, so i expect that there will be contacts in panama. and it's useful obviously to be able to have that contact and move things along so that we can get things done and open embassies and move ahead with this relationship. richard: good. i myself can imagine raul castro addressing the 700 assembled corporate executives around the western hemisphere and the same to them, please please not return and invest and trade with cuba, and that would be quite a moment in the inter-american relations. we'll see if that happens. laden with irony of course. also in cuba there is a lot of speculation that cuba is actually acting as a moderating influence on the countries in order to keep, the contentious issues of venezuela from dominating the
agenda. rather than cuba wants to keep the spotlight on the u.s.-cuba approach it would appear, roberta, that the u.s. can get along better perhaps with marksist states in the hemisphere than populous states in hemisphere. can you tell us anything about what role cuba might be playing behind the scenes in latin america in order to make the summit actually overall a success? roberta: one of the things that i think is interesting is i don't know exactly what role cuba may be playing with venezuela or other countries like alba leadership. but i will say, we did see this fall at the u.n. general assembly a notable shift in cuba's language. there was still an anti-embargo resolution at the u.n. this fall as there has been for years, but there was a shift in language
and those of us who watched cuba for a long time are attuned to shifts in language. it was less personal, less of an attack, including on our representative who was speaking that day. and, obviously, on december 17 you heard a pretty remarkable statement from president castro about president obama and the steps that they were both taking on that day. what you see in the rhetoric of many of the alba leaders is very personal, it's very ad hominem. it's really of the sort that makes it very difficult to try and move ahead. we often are admonished that it's just words, that we are a
big country and we need to rise above that, and it is just words and we do all the time rise above that sort of thing. but words also matter, and words matter to populations and words matter to citizen and words matter in foreign policy. and so in foreign relations, and so when you say that things may be easier with marxist governments than with pop list ones, i wouldn't say that is the rule, but i would say that the tone that leaders set is important. and right now the tone that certain leaders are setting in those more populist countries is one of demonizing the united states as the source of their problems. in particular in venezuela, when we are not the source of the problem. and so that does make it harder for us to move forward pragmatically and non-ideologically. our goal in venezuela is not to
overthrow this government. our goal in venezuela is to create more political space as i think all the countries in this hemisphere have agreed to except cuba in the inter-american democratic charter. and so we have had a conversation with cuba quite honestly that has not been as, it has not been as ad hominem or as negative now, that said, it has acknowledged and been forthright where we profoundly disagree on human rights and universal rights, but we've tried really hard to tone down the level of those personal attacks. and that makes a difference in
the ability to get other things done and hopefully makes a difference in our ability even to get some things done in that area. richard: raul castro's remarks which were critical of u.s. sanctions against venezuela, he was very careful not to directly criticize president obama but rather buffered decisions made by some of his aides, roberta. [laughter] >> last question before we go to the audience. >> may be gone - [inaudible] >> let me just ask you about brazil then. so brazil i think it's fair to say the big country of course in south america has never really liked the summit of the americas. we will remember some of our efforts to get the brazilians to be cooperative back in 1994
because they view the summit as an instrument of u.s. influence which in my some way reduce their influence. today i think it's there to say that brazil appears somewhat aloof from hemispheric affairs. preoccupied with their own domestic troubles. nevertheless, on which summit issues that you outlined does the u.s. look to brazil to play a helpful role? roberta: i think it is a great question, richard. because i think brazil come and engagement with brazil is a really important thing in 2015 for us bilaterally but also for the region. i would note, for example, that brazil has not had an ambassador at the oas for a couple of years now. and we are very optimistic that they will very shortly because i think that's crucial. i think as we approach this summit we look for brazil to be
a partner with many of the other countries chile p.r. peru, colombia, costa rica, panama and a lot of others, on some of the issues like social inclusion where i think brazil really has been very, very much a leader. i think we look to brazil even and i know this may sound strange on the economic competitiveness issue. no, it's not a tpp country or free trade partner, but as brazil looks towards an economy that needs restarting, all right, it is looking at things that may have been taboo in the past. it is debating openly what comes next in brazil, and that's healthy. and so it may not be looking at things the same way we are, but we are all looking for greater competitiveness in our economy and that i think makes them a
partner in this, even if not on every single issue. i think as we look towards -- what number i was up to? let's just say paris. i never remember what number we are up to, number one, 22. as we look toward paris and climate issues, we are not necessary on the same page with brazil but we know brazil is going to be crucial and so we want to work with brazil. and i think for secretary kerry, he looks at this summit, although it may not be on the agenda, he looks at every summit between now and paris in december as preparation for paris. so he will be talking about climate change issues. they certainly are on our agenda with countries like brazil. on democracy and human rights, i think brazil has a strong role to play, and we certainly are hopeful. they have been a major partner
with us on the open government partnership. that is something that will be discussed. that's an area where on governmental transparency we should be working together. brazil is a very vibrant democracy with a robust civil society and a robust press. that's an area where we can work together. so there are lots of i think, themes in somewhere brazil and ask them to working together. richard: thank you roberta, for the conversation. i would like to go to our audience and get a few more questions. just a couple of points. i will keep a list. when i go to you please wait for the microphone since this is been broadcast before asking a question. identify yourself and your institutional affiliation. and for those of you who are fans of twitter, #viisummit. i should've mentioned that earlier but hopefully you saw it up on the screen. and let's see,
ok, i will start with steve in the front row and i will work my way back. some semblance of order. >> thank you so much for this rich discussion. one of the really exciting things that happen with the cuba is that there are 85 u.s. universities that have sent over 10,000 u.s. students to study in cuba over the past 13 years. this has always been a very sticky kind of a proposition. one of the universities though that just won a 100,000 strong at the america's innovation award is western michigan, and it will be one of the first universities to formalize relations moving students back and forth. roberta, what is your understanding of how easy or how complicated it's going to be as more and more u.s. universities want to work with cuban universities? roberta: i think a quick answer
on that is from our perspective we would like as many as possible to get into this business of doing more and more student exchanges. i think when we talk about student exchanges, i think there's a great deal of interest, certainly great deal of interest in students. i just don't know exactly what the bandwidth will be in the cuban government for regularizing those, this interest. it may be a little bit slower than we would like to move but i think there's interest. so i am encouraged but i don't know that it will be as fast as we would like it to be. harold: let me go to claudia two rows behind and then i will go over here and back over there.
>> i'd like to ask how does the u.s. intend to put the discussion during the summit? also if you could give us more information about who president obama will meet from the civil society. thank you. roberta: the first question, we don't intend to discuss venezuela at the summit. the summit is a regional discussion. it's a hemispheric discussion. it's not our intention to have a discussion of any one individual country at the summit. the summit has eight themes. those themes are applicable, as far as i can tell, to every country in the hemisphere. and so those discussions will be applicable to every country. leaders will speak to the issues. so i see no reason to be speaking to an individual country at all. the issues are applicable to everyone and the standards and the commitments should be applicable to everyone. on the issue of meeting with civil society, my understanding, and this really is a question for the panamanians as host, is that there will be a meeting of the leaders with representatives of the civil society forum who
are chosen by the civil society forum. so i don't know that the leaders know exactly who they're going to be meeting with from that forum yet. harold: on my left. and then if those in the back, if you would ask questions, just raise your hands. roberta: can you identify yourself? >> hi. larry, news editor of "the washington diplomatic." good to see you again. given the location of next week's summit, i'd like to ask about nicaragua with the chinese investors have announced plans for a $50 billion inter-oceanic canal linking. this project has sparked widespread protest, some violent, and costa rica is not happy either. i'm wondering a few weeks ago a delegation from the water civil society came to washington to air its concerned here amongst think tanks and capitol hill.
i'm wondering if you have any plans to take this up with the ortega government during the summit? thank you. roberta: i think the short answer on that is no. we don't necessarily plan to have a direct conversation with representatives of the nicaraguan government on this but we certainly have been very clear, the power has been clear in nicaragua and we've been clear that our position on the canal has always been that the most important thing is that it be done in a way that is transparent and responsive to the concerns of the nicaraguan citizens. those who have already been concerned about environmental issues and land issues, and those that may come up along the way, that the problems that we've seen thus far have been a lack of transparency both in sort of bidding and procedural issues and whether all of the concerns are being taken into account that citizens have along
the way. harold: in the middle, yes. the microphone is behind you. >> mary alice, voice of america. on cuba and human rights, to what extent do you expect this particular issue to be addressed either through regular meetings or on the sidelines? and secondly, what will the message be from the u.s. to other governments about current efforts with cuba to lay the groundwork for historic human rights dialogue, whether as to your approach or expectations or priorities? roberta: i think, you know, i think it's pretty clear the president from the beginning has said that our position on human rights in cuba has not changed that we believe that human rights, the human rights situation in cuba is not
adequate, is not what we would like it to be, that the needs to be respect for international norms of human rights, that we would like to see that improve that we will not change our standards or our willingness to speak out on human rights violations simply because we are now engaging with the cuban government directly. we speak out on human rights violations elsewhere in the world, in places where we have a relationship, a diplomatic relationship with governments. we have relations, and we will do that with cuba once we have diplomatic relations as well. what i think the president is committed to doing is seeing representatives of civil society from a number of countries in the hemisphere, including cuba
making sure that the message is clear that in places where either political and civil space has closed in recent years, or remains closed, such as in cuba, we give support to those who continue to peacefully fight for that space to be open. we did it in new york with civil society groups from around the world at the u.n. last fall, and he'll will do it again in panama. and he won't shy away from the message, whether it's directly with leaders or with civil society individuals directly. harold: in the back. >> thank you for the opportunity to be here. roberta, i want to change the topic.
i want to ask about central america. i understand the president is likely to attend the meeting with the central american president. the white house has a billion-dollar aid request. there has been a lot of concerns raised about the corruption, oversight if that aid goes through. are you expecting that to be a topic in general and are the president's likely to propose something? one of the things that has come up as a measure of commitment. i wonder if you have any sense about the guatemala mandate. roberta: the billion-dollar aid request is not just for the northern triangle, although that is where the greatest need is. we want to be very clear that for all of the central america
n countries because unless we work with everybody together, we will simply, you know, end up having to do more to name one of the other countries once viewed as a good job in the northern triangle. we know that. so, it does actually -- there are funds in the amount for panama, belize, etc. there is no doubt beginning from before the plan the alliance of prosperity among the central american northern triangle countries were drafted and now through our own request to congress and the implementation plan for their strategy and ours that measures of effectiveness and commitment on transparency, good governance and anticorruption have got to be a part of this. on the foreign assistance side we have a fiduciary responsibly
to the taxpayers of the u.s. to make sure that the money is used wisely. and the governments themselves have said to us, and i think this is a mark of why we have more confidence in this moment working with these leaders, that say we want to use this to make fundamental changes in the way the budgets are implemented in our country including forcing through accountability mechanisms using your foreign assistance to make changes that are sometimes unpalatable at home because they need to be done to get the money. and we've seen some of those changes made already. honduras already signed an agreement with transparency international to do some sort of work with them on accountability and transparency. there are procurement mechanisms that will be put online and i think it is much greater confidence to allow people to see how that money is being used
and it will be important for others to emulate if not the same measures, similar kinds of ones. on this issue, i think that the renewal of the mandate is critical. i'm not sure i would put it the same way that you do as a metric but i do think that there is a very strong support for that in congress and certainly very strong support for it in the administration. >> [inaudible] thank you for the talk. i was wondering if you have in mind how we can get the congressional engagement in the summit on the budget issues and
an agenda that will go beyond bilateral issues. you've outlined for key areas of mutual interest. but how do you see more dialogue? there is a representation of congress going into talking to several but how do you see this being a venue to achieve this? roberta: that's a good question because you and i have talked, and i talked with lots of others in the room how we get members of congress more interested in the region and educated about the region because even on some of the subcommittees that deal with latin america and the caribbean, there's not that much experience. these are relatively new members in the region particularly in the house, so i think there is a huge amount -- an opportunity for getting people engaged and i do think it is a good example that the chairman of the subcommittee on the house side
is going to be heading the congressional delegation at the summit but at the last count it as 10 or 12 members and i think that's great. so he's pretty committed to this. the most important thing in some ways is that many leaders, foreign ministers and others will be able to do meetings with this delegation because it may only be 10 or 12 of them, but they will come back sort of enthusiastic. i believe enthusiastic from meeting and kind of spread the word. i think it's really important that we encourage them to visit. i've never seen a member of congress, no matter how negatively they may feel about foreign assistance or about a country's policies going in who doesn't come back from a visit and is energized to work in
partnership on that country's issues and the bilateral relationship. and usually energized to do more. they are usually pretty big supporters of the service after they come back and see how hard we work. so, my goal is to get as many of them to visit as possible and i would encourage every embassy in the town to get up to the hill as often as possible. it's frustrating to see so much on their plate and there's not so much focus on foreign affairs. i think the deal on iran will absorb a huge amount of time but it's also now got into the next phase which is a good thing in the sense there may be more actual work that will take up some of them, but not all of them. i'd also say engagement on the hill has to be done quickly because with the approach of the presidential season and then
foreign-policy stuff will get pushed aside and there will be even fewer travel. harold: we have time for two very brief questions. please keep it short. richard and someone else here on the left. >> thanks for a very interesting discussion. in the last summit, there was significant influence particularly over the cuba issue that's now somewhat advanced. chavez is dead and now also moved back. could you talk about how you see alba's influence not only at the summit but more generally as well? roberta: that's a good question. one of the things is when you talk about issues where you are touching on an issue where there
remains strong emotional support for something alba may lean on sanctions being a perfect example, unilateral financial sanctions by the united states wouldn't really matter how many are on some checked they are not things that the region supports. they really don't. if they are not under the united nations or an international body then it's never going to get support. it may not have been -- there may have been other ways to handle what we did but it wasn't to get support even of our friends, it wouldn't have been. they were able to lean on that
issue because they were pushing on the proverbial open-door. we don't want to pound you publicly that but we know we hate financial sanctions. but i do not see much leadership on anything else. i really don't. certainly not in the economic area. if you look behind the rhetoric, bolivia and ecuador are not the same model as venezuela. ecuador has gone back to the imf and wolrd bank and they've done a swap with goldman and it's a very different economic model despite the rhetoric. argentina, which isn't alba, is in bad shape is an example of why this economic model doesn't work.
so there is no leadership there on the economic side. on the political side, i don't think that there is leadership there either. i've been disappointed in the defense of democracy by other governments. but i don't see that anybody is defending the model. so, i see that alliance as one that on certain issues when it touches on something that is historically one of solidarity that can lead, but that's kind of a cheap and easy win. harold: on the left with the scarf.
>> since you said that words matter to you to get to that of venezuela isn't a threat to the u.s. national security and also, is the u.s. funding cuban dissident groups to go to summit deciding who gets accredited as a civil society group? roberta: you are not going to get me to say words that contradict the order of the presidency of the united states. i said that we have no interest in invading and no interest in overthrowing the government. but the words that are in an executive order outline sanctions so that they refer to as a banking system were not wanting certain people to enter the country for purposes of thinking. on the issue of dissidents, i would have to see about funding. i know that what we had was the possibility of helping civil
society organizations like writ large, if they needed funding to get to the summit that was an open possibility and i'm not sure that anybody take advantage of that and it was a very small amount of money through the democracy human rights and labor bureau which was possibly going to make some money and i don't believe anybody did take advantage of that. on accreditation, that is the host government which makes that decision. and they, in fact, i believe were working with the nongovernmental organizations to make those decisions because in
this case it was not going to be the oas that ran the civil society forum because as you know cuba is suspended to have the rules apply otherwise they wouldn't be able to be present. the oas did not do the accreditation. it was panama with these ngo's. harold: roberta, thank you very much for a wonderful talk and a wonderful conversation with us. please join me in thanking roberta jacobson. [applause] >> next, a discussion on religious liberties in the united states. then remarks by admiral mike
rogers. then the nuclear agreement by the iranaian president rouhani. >> tonight, former texas state senator wendy davis. she made headlines in 2013 speaking for more than 10 hours straight during a debate on abortion clinics. she talks about women and politics at an event hosted by uc berkeley, including the progress on lgbt issues, gender issue seem to be taking a step backward. >> as we watch and celebrate lgbt advances with more and more states moving to marriage equality and as we witness divisive, discriminatory policies like don't ask, don't tell being repealed, after years of hard work and effort that is to be celebrated, gender politics seems to be taking a
step backwards. women are facing an onslaught of legislation that threatens their reproductive freedoms and access to abortion. we occupy 56% of minimum wage jobs even though we make up only about 49% of the workforce. governors in states like mine are vetoing fair pay laws if they ever make it to the governor's desk at all. all of this is happening without significant voter backlash that says we disagree with the direction that things are heading. we have to ask ourselves why. i think the answer to that is largely connected to and dictated by her own personal experiences. the lens through which we as voters view these issues. >> former texas state senator wendy davis, tonight at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span.
next, a conversation about how religious liberty is defined in the united states. from "washington journal," this is one hour. now on "washington journal," we want to discuss this religious liberty issue that is being discussed around the country. joining us is kristina arriaga with the becket fund on religious liberty. and barry lynn, of americans united for separation of church and state. how do you define religious liberty? guest: it means that we can believe what we want and practice what we want, as long as we are doing it without subsidies from the government, and we have the right to do everything we want including
evangelize, as long as we do on our own dime. what we don't have a right to do is our religion is best. we don't ask the government to bless it. and we certainly do not injure third parties by the practice of our religion. unfortunately, that is my definition, it's not everyone's. host: kristina arriaga, do you agree with that? guest: at the back of fun we believe that religious liberty is the liberty to search for the truth and follow one's conscience. that path must be free of government intrusion. host: you have both given your definition of religious liberty. how does what's happening in indiana with religious freedom fit into what we are discussing? guest: the religious freedom restoration act -- your viewers know what passed originally and
congress 22 years ago. there was a collision of support . it was signed into law by president clinton. it was a great moment in america to have this unity. in 19 night seven, the supreme court ruled that it did not apply to states. state-by-state, they st passed rfra. indiana passed a rfra, similar to the vet orfra. host: you look at the map. how is the indiana law different? guest: times have changed.
there seems -- the university of virginia professor says a very well, sexual minorities and religious minorities have mutually reinforce wable claims that they are parts of -- what happens when they conflict? they get their day in court. the original version of the religious liberty of law in indiana was not a magic wand. what it said is that religious believers that cannot do something because of their conscience can go to a court and then the court decides whether or not those claims go forward or not. host: did you support the 93 rfra?
guest: we did. it passed unanimously in the house, and with the exception of two votes in the senate. it was a very different creature. as kristina mention, it was a different time. we made sure that it dealt specifically with people. if a prisoner once a small short beard, like was just litigated and prison officials say, he can hide a weapon in there, he would at least get to court. a similarly situated prisoner just one. no one expected that churches would make their own independent decisions about their architecture, for example, that a big company like hobby lobby
would be considered a person that could exercise religion. they play religious christmas music that doesn't make them a religious company. the other thing is that no one ever suggested that this law which was designed to prevent those rare circumstances where government at any level can crush a religious believers ability to act in a religious fashion, no one thought that meant that the exception to a law hurt a third-party is ok. iif senator kennedy or i, or the aclu, were told that this would allow someone to discriminate private individuals -- the floors to it not give
flowers to a same-sex wedding or allow companies to not give women contraceptive coverage, hobby lobbyy -- it would have never been signed into law. host: viewers, you know what we are talking about here. the lines are on the screen. we have set of aside our fourth line for arkansas and indiana residents. i will make it simple, should a christian baker be forced to make a gay wedding cake? guest: i think the answer is yes. in america, we have laws that say if you're going to offer service, you are going to have a that bed-and-breakfast
restaurant, providing cakes for weddings, you have to serve everyone. you can decide because you have a suspicion, or you know the people coming in getting a cake are gay people, you don't have a right, or should have a right in america to say, we are not serving you. that is nasty. host: kristina arriaga, your chance to respond. guest: i would like to ask you a question barry? should a member of the lgbt community who is a photographer be forced to take photographs at the westborough baptist church. as a cuban-american, i hate the idea that i would be forced. guest: in the unlikely event that they would be asked to do so by the homophobic westborough baptist church -- if they are in
a place with a public accommodation statute, and their service is wedding photographs, i think they would have to say yes under those circumstances. guest: we at the becket fund believe that any artist has first amendment rights to express whatever they want to express. host: you are saying that you believe that a citizen can deny services to a particular group of people? guest: we believe that a business owner or a family-owned business can conduct their business according to their mission or values. a lot of companies just came out and said that we don't want investment in the state of indiana. they were asserting their rights to have a value-based decision on the company. that also applies to religious people. i'm glad that gary just brought up to cases that the becket fund
just one. one was hobby lobby, owned by the green family of oklahoma. they grew out of their garage and are now in 46 states. they have a very generous health care plan. they provide 16 out of 20 fda approved contraceptives. they could just not a for for that because they believe these drugs prevented implementation and was an early form of abortion. the supreme court said that the government's case was very weak. on the one hand, the government case said that this was a vital right for americans. in the case of holt, we both agreed and i case, there was an arkansas prisoner who wanted to grow a religiously mandated
beard, but arkansas said no, but they did not have a good excuse. i always say to my teenagers, because i say so, but the government does not get to do so, especially in cases closely related to human dignity. guest: can i interject? we are in support of a case that will be heard by the u.s. supreme court, the marriage of quality case. we are on the side of marriage equality. i cannot imagine why, even in your scenario, why getting married, if you are a same-sex couple, has any negative affects on the conscience of anyone who makes a different decision. which side are you on in that case? guest: we at the becket fund have filed a brief in support of neither side. what we say is if same-sex marriage is going to happen, that's fine, but when there is a conflict of claims, as a doctor
says very eloquently, both sides have very important places in society. what rfra allows is for these minorities to come forward and then the court decides. in the second part of it, all of a sudden, it was amended so that one site automatically loses and one site automatically winds. that is not how we resolve things in america. as a cuban-american, i'm completely allergic to the government making me do anything of any sort. i'm allergic to the idea of having a piece of legislation that makes -- monolithic. host: let's go ahead and get the callers involved. the numbers are up on the screen, the divided by affiliation, and then our fourth line set aside for arkansas and indiana residents. we will begin with joe in massachusetts. independent line. caller: how are you doing?
excuse me. i just wanted to make a comment that -- i grew up as an irish catholic -- the older i got, i realized that my religion, i don't really subscribe to any more. you couldn't go -- if you were divorced, there were so many things, you couldn't belong. my gay friends couldn't go to church. my uncle was gay. he couldn't go. i was astonished that people i loved no longer belong to the church that they grew up in. my irish catholic grandmother was very staunchly religious and catholic. it broke her heart. -- it broke her heart to find out her own son was gay.
host: let's get a response from what you have described. guest: the caller brings up an important point and that is that in america, we are able to leave our church and religion. a great book by a harvard sociologist talks a lot about the nones. people who are no longer affiliated to the church, but are still. -- still spiritual. there is no doubt that this whole issue has been wounding. in america, we do not resolve issues by bringing in government wa, we resolve it by democratic process. what is happening now is there is attention of people in favor of lgbt rights are trying to get rid of religious rights for the sake of their own.
guest: it is not the kind of a conflict. i think it is possible to have religious rights and rights for the lgbt community. it's not a question. you can have both been america. what the caller is talking about -- the decision by his church -- they get to make in america. churches get to make decisions about how their own parishioners should operate, and the circumstances under which they will not be welcome. what they don't have the right to do is impose those religious views on everybody else, and that is effectively what is happening with these religious freedom restoration act at the state level. now there is a fear of marriage equality coming on june 30 to the entire country. what started out as a shield to imposition of tax by government has now been weaponize. now it is a sword to hurt other
people. that is not with the religious freedom restoration act was ever intended to do. host: alain is in olympia washington. she is a republican. go ahead with your questions or comments. caller: i have a couple of comments. to me, the issue is one is not condoning an activity, and on the other hand, you are not condoning the person. as long as an entity doesn't put down the person, they should be allowed to put down the activity. in other words, getting married is an activity. if a gay couple wants to get married, and someone is opposed to the activity of those two people getting married, they should be able to oppose that for religious reasons. however, if they own an entity that serves the public, a person
should be able to go into a public place and be served like any other person. i can't imagine -- for example, when i was a child, we had a religious story that sold religious books and things. i cannot imagine for one minute that if you had people dressed in -- let's say, it ain't parade attire -- in gay parade attire, that store would not have the right to save that is inappropriate in the store. it would be like equating someone to divorce another person. this is kind of off, but assuming that a marriage -- you were forced to partake in activities that were definitely against your religion, but yet
you were forced to have just one -- you know, you had to partake -- host: i think we got the point. barry lynn, if you want to start a short answer. guest: i agree with part of what she says, but i don't agree that -- for example, if you walk into a store with a rainbow colored shirt, you don't feel miserable if someone says, by the way, we won't serve you. that is an insult to the very dignity of who you characterize yourself to be. nothing, by the way, prevents in the case of a baker or photographer -- prevents a person from having to serve the service of what they are providing. to put on the law, and i think this is even said and one of the cases, we don't agree with
marriage equality. you can express your own sentiments, but you still have to serve the person involved. to me, that is an accommodation that is proper under the religious freedom restoration act. guest: we have 20 years of rfra can you give me one example where someone underwent that process and went to court and one? when a religious person said, we will not serve a prison because they are gay, and one? guest: i can tell you the religious freedom restoration act was used sadly but successfully in one case where in a spinoff version of the mormon church, someone refuse to testify in a child labor case because he could not testify to the federal workings of a church and the judge of utah said, no you don't have to.
this has been used before, sometimes successfully sometimes not successfully, because the courts understand this is not a weapon. guest: was there one case where a member of the lgbt community was denied service because of rfra? guest: no, but remember, the indiana case that was champion before it was changed -- call me a conservative, by believe in legislative history -- the sponsor said that in this case the floors, the caterer, the photographer have to participate in or serve. that's what they intended to do. governor pence decided -- he must not have heard that. that these every what it's about. and i think that's what we know is about. host: governor pence sent out
this tweet -- i've signed rfra clarification bill, make it clear that every person feels welcome in indiana. do you think the state should have push for this revocation bill? guest: of course not. the point is there has not been a single case in the last 22 years since rfra past. very was saying that rfra was never intended to cover private -- that was never true. since 1996, there have been several courts that have interpreted federal rfra to include corporations. in the obama administration, wheaton college said they could spring a claim on their private practice. even the hobby lobby decision,
the court said that the corporation had rights. the same with free speech. c-span has free-speech rights. not only the individuals in c-span. much -- most quarters -- most churches are incorporated. guest: the judiciary act issue is a red herring. the state said that anyone passing the federal rfra think that a for-profit company was going to be able to avail itself or was it church autonomy? somebody wants to change the same -- stained glass window. the government landmark commission says you cannot do that because we liked it the way it was. that is defensible. that is a corporation. it is not hobby lobby and it is not the pizzeria in indiana that got so much attention when it said we would never cater pizza to a gay wedding. host: arkansas government asa hutchinson tweets proud to work with the legislature to craft
state bill 975, the religious freedom restoration act mirroring federal law. bill is on the line from little rock on our independent line. please go ahead. caller: how are you? this new being -- new bill basically says neither the state or local laws or policies can infringe on one's police unless the government can demonstrate it has a compelling interest in that it is using the least restrict the means to achieve it area that depends on the judge. it depends on who appoints an alexa the judge. i find it interesting. lady, stick with your guns. if a gay guy went into a muslim bakery and asked the muslim to make a sheet case with the image of mohammed on it, you hear all kind of reaction about how horrible this was. but if you are a christian and
you have a business -- by the way, i love the fact that this pizzeria has gotten about half $1 million in donations because of the unbelievable nastiness of these people. instead of, by the way, using lgbt, call them for what they are. homosexuals, gays, lesbians -- host: bill -- caller: there are people who own businesses who do not want any made either law to go to a wedding and present a cake with two men on top. if they are catholic or orthodox jewish, be made to approve of that -- but under -- host: bill? you are from little rock, you're calling from little rock. is there any comparison in your mind to what happened in little rock and the civil rights issues, etc.? caller: absolutely not.
when you discriminate because of what someone's color is, it is what they are and have been created as a black person. there are plenty of christians who believe because of their religion and the clear biblical terminology, that that person cannot be a catholic or an orthodox jew and go out there and do his business because someone is a practicing gay person. not because they are gay but because they are trying to get married -- it is not a marriage, anyway. a colored person, because of their color it is not something they do. it is nothing against the rival traditional christianity -- host: will have to let you go there. let's start here and i will you finish reverend lynn.
kristina arriaga, and you agree with bill from little rock? guest: in what sense? let's talk about -- this fight has been per trade as christians versus gays. let's talk about the real beneficiaries of the religious freedom research acts. let's talk about my client, a native american. he uses eagle feathers and his religious ceremonies. in 2006, the government sent covert agents to confiscate his feathers, then him with prison and fines. after many years of litigation. because he was able to assert under rfra, he was able to get his feathers that. those are the real beneficiaries of rfra. minority religions that need to be protected. particularly with the growing group of nones, people living --
leaving their churches. host: can i walk into a muslim bakery with a picture or image of mohammed and say i want a cake? i want this on a cake? guest: it depends. let's say you're a bakery that says we have 50 cakes to choose from and we are not saying -- making a 51st, including this one, which would offend religion, or anything else. we have a service that provides for 50 displays. you're right about arkansas and for this reason. i would bet 60% of americans, at least a week and a half ago believed what your caller said. you cannot force people to do this. that is the argument used with often a "justification -- god separated the light from the darkness -- they say that means -- i would not assume kristina believes this -- but some would
say that means we have to segregate the races. that was used in the 1960's to justify the refusal to integrate schools and lunch counters. i bet 60% of people, if you were have two tests of in arkansas, alabama, and mississippi at that time would have said nothing wrong with that. there is something wrong. i do not want to get into the debate, but i think the signs is clear, you do not choose to be gay. that is the way you are born. guest: bringing race into this issue is a tired argument. as a latina, race occupies a different place in society. this was established in the supreme court by bob jones. this is a red herring. it has no place in this debate. host: william was calling from kosovo, california from our democrat line. caller: i have a comments for your female guest and all people
who have her believe. my mother used to say, as a christian, that when something goes wrong -- something you do not like, put into god's hands and pray for them. for you to pray for someone that means you have to forgive them, first, and love them, to pray for them. it is in god's hands. let talk -- let god take it from there because you have done your part. what do you have to say about that? guest: i think it is fantastic that you are brought up in a religious household. most americans consider themselves religious. i think it is fantastic you can pray. i am sure your grandmother wanted to live by her deeply held convictions, not only at home or at church, but or in the way she conducted is nice. had she had a business, she would have wanted to conducted according to her religious
convictions. are you able to practice your religious convictions at your business, not only at church and not only at home. guest: selectively, though. the pizza people, i do not know what kind of pizza they made, i never heard of them until this week. they raised a quarter million dollars and maybe they can go into some other line of work, because his -- because pete said business is not doing well, because people were upset about the comments about not being able -- not being willing to serve in a wedding. here is the question. i am sure that there are other biblical injunctions, for example, use of port, which is clearly prohibited shrimp jesus said i have, not to change one part of the law. these are things apparently they do. i am sure they put for bid in meet roddick's -- forbidden meat
products on their pizza. but they choose to deny the right to obtain a pizza by someone else based on their somewhat idiosyncratic biblical standard. you can have a very narrowly focused, personal religious believes in this country. they do not always get to win. i think the legislative history of this in genesis and currently what may be going on with the -- in arkansas is they do have a tendency to win, when they could not have one before. that is morally wrong. it is constitutionally wrong. host: gordon is a republican. hello. caller: good morning. i am a couple again but i was raised in a liberal state in colorado. i am concerned that small business might be strapped with
some awful constraints if individuals or groups come into a small business and their behavior may be disruptive, in the context of social norms. when i was young, in the 1960's, just about every small business had a sign that said we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. i will take comments off the air. thank you. host: kristina arriaga? guest: people disagree about sexy and religion in america all the time. it does not make it right because some viewed the owners of the pizza parlor -- to be threatened with arson, this is not what we do in the u.s. i do not believe anyone says that this is how we should proceed.
what the new version of the religious freedom restoration act in indiana takes a small section of the population and allows the government to try those businesses without -- into nonexistence without -- views in the u.s. can be very different, but we do not resolve issues by driving people out of courts. that is all the original rfra was looking for. guest: no one will say that some of the tweets about burning the pizzeria -- no one is trying to justify that. in social media, i got a death threat on my telephone last night -- guest: i did too! guest: lets form a church. the truth is, there is nothing fictional about the lien -- b ullying of gay kids in school. there's nothing fictional about
people getting assaulted because they were gay or trans. no one burned down the pizza parlor. they decided to close their money and collect -- close their business and collect the money. i think you are ignoring there is a little sense -- brutal sense that towards gay people, they are second-class citizen area that anything that can be done to hurt them physically or in more subtle ways. that should not stand in this 21st century of america. host: kristina arriaga? guest: i agree, but taking ways -- taking rights away from religious people is not the way to do this. guest: i am a minister in united church of christ. the united church of christ permits me to do same-sex marriage ceremonies. if i was in a state that did not
permit that now, though i think on june 30 it will be permitted everywhere, would you take my case if i wanted to marry someone -- conduct a wedding ceremony, under my deeply held religious beliefs, the same that my dumb nomination would want to do. would you help me trump the law that says in about 12 states today, you cannot do that? guest: we would. we believe the government should not tell you as a minister what you can and cannot do within your church, unless he has very serious reasons. guest: did you support the united church of christ pastor's and north carolina, who filed this lawsuit under the religious freedom restoration act? guest: we supported another pastor making a similar claim. he wanted to anoint a same-sex
couple in his church. the government should not course ministers. they should not tell you what to do or believe unless there is a serious reason. host: kristina arriaga, are these referral laws the states passing, do you consider them anti-gay? guest: no. out of the 19 that have passed, only to have language dealing with antidiscrimination. then we have the 20th in indiana and 21st in arkansas. we have over 30 states that have refer-like legislation. -- rfra-like legislation. there were members of lgbt communities in the 1990's and religious people in the 1990's and no one asserted a refer case. host: in this tweet, i still ask you to cite the action memories peter took which justifies the assault upon them. guest: nothing justifies an
assault on them. the fact that the twitter-sphere blew up over this and people said we are never going there you are a terrible person, that is called freedom of speech. that is what it pizzeria could do, even if it were required to cater pizza to a wedding. they could put up a sign that says we do not believe in same-sex weddings. we are against that. we believe the bible is against it. but under some circumstances those public accommodation laws do trump, even deeply held sincerely held religious beliefs. that is the way the country has to work in making the trade-off. host: let's say the pizza parlor put up the sign, would you be offended? guest: i am offended by things almost every day, or there would not be anything i could do about it. i could not force them to take it down.
but as one judge indicated you could put it up to make it clear to everybody where you stand. that is a committed statement. i have no problem with doing that. i just would not go there. host: what it your death threat caller say to you? guest: guest: it was a strange message. i can't tell you who want to eliminate you, but you should know that you are at great risk and if you go to authorities your death will come sooner. who knows? guest: i got a nasty, long e-mail and frankly, before i finished reading it, i pressed delete. it is an emotional argument. of course it is. there are wounded people on both sides of the issues. but again, the way to resolve it is not to resort to violence, of course. and not to result in death threats. the way to resolve it is an our american democratic system.
host: pace is in arizona. butch, we have to move on. the rule is, once you get on you have to turn on your tv, there is a delay. marilyn monroe, louisiana. republican. caller: hello. i just want to make a comment and state that, number one, the love of christ constrains us that we're supposed to meet dynamic to all people because of we don't open our door and make a chance to be an example, they we have not reach the masses. and whether if someone is gay or not gay or whether they are going into a bakery and request for me to bake them in case, i would welcome this because i believe i can have an insolence on them just by my graciousness that may open the door for me to give them another direction
later on. it may not ever make a difference, but that kindness will go much further than any hatreds. host: what do you think about these religious freedom restoration act across the country? caller: i believe they are good and bad in the bills. i do not believe that the government, under any circumstance, has the right to come into your place of business and your church or whatever and force you to do anything. that is un-american. i believe that you have a right to make your own stand. at the same time, i believe that we have to look at this from an overall perspective. we have to have an open-minded view. i have a very good friend who is gay. he is married to his partner. i did not take part in the wedding because i cannot begun for my job, and also, i am an ordained minister and it is not
cohesive with the views that i have on marriage. that i support their right to do that. we don't open the talk about the difference in what they believe and what i believe as far as lifestyles and that type of thing. if it ever came to that, i would have to give them my version of what i feel like the bible says. that does not give me the right to judge them. host: marilyn, you did not attend their wedding because of your religious belief? caller: i did not attend their wedding because i was not able to get off work. to go. they had to be gone and we were in my department cannot begun at the same time. the thing about it does, i want to be supportive. they have adopted a child and are doing a wonderful job
raising that child. they are offering that child things that he never would've had. these are good people. it is not any different with this then it would be -- we have people every day that struggle with drugs and alcohol, but they are trying to do what they can and stay within programs to help them. i am not saying that gay people are sick, please, don't misinterpret that. but you can't make this think went -- but you can't make distinctions. everybody has problems. it would be the same thing if you are saying i refuse to several person because i have cancer. every buddy has things in the lives they have to work through. host: marilyn, thank you for calling in. kristina arriaga, any response to that color? guest: this is one of the great things i love this country. she is an ordained minister, a christian, she completed about that system, she is -- she would
bake the cake and attend the ceremony. but it is her choice. the government is not telling her. this is the way to resolve this issue. not to bring in the government. guest: i was like the collar. i was born in bethlehem of pennsylvania. i loved 95% of what she said, maybe 100%. this is the way we ought to conduct ourselves as people, particularly christian people in this country. here is why -- and i think she touches on something else -- here is why they are not extension -- the extensive amounts of litigation on gay people who cannot get a cake baked or what have you. it is because the original religious restoration act, to get back to something i said at the beginning of the program was never construed, never explained, there is not one word or one example in the entire legislative history back in the early 1990's about this that are a lot that suggested it could be used to damage third parties.
it was all about the kinds of things, including your clients ability to have -- i supported his right to have this eagle feathers. i supported the right -- i don't know if she was your client or another line -- who wanted as a jehovah's witness not to have surgery do without a blood transfusion. for some bureaucratic reason she was denied the right to do that. eventually she won her case but she was near death at the time. that is what religious restriction freedom act was designed to do. it was not designed to do with the sponsors of the original version of the indiana built said. -- indiana built said. make sure the baker, photographer cater can say no to a gay couple's wedding. that is never what this was about and that is why there are not cases until the ones that are merging up now. host: carol is in indiana on the independent line. caller: hi, how are you? host: good. caller: good.
i have a question for the reverend when he said a little bit ago about these guys are born pretty much cake. that is not -- pretty much gay. that is not to. i know much of the mark, but not all of them. it is shoved down at the everyday and you can see two guys kissing. if you have kids, that is not good to see on tv. it is awfully funny that only certain people have the right to say no to things. not everybody, but because you are religious and you believe in what you believe in that marriage is between a man and a woman and you should have the right to say no if you don't want that. i don't like it when a guy and girl are going out in front of me at a restaurant, let alone to gays. i am side, reverend, i don't agree with you. and you've been a reverend, i would be ashamed. kristina arriaga, keep up the good work. guest: i am not ashamed. i'm not ashamed to say the way you deal with children in these circumstances. i remember the time my old -- my
daughter was walking down the street and two guys were holding hands and she asked why were two guys holding hands, that is what you and mom do? and i say, people are different in this country and as a consequence, some people want to hold hands with women and some guys want to hold hands with men. and you know what? there was no follow-up question. that was an age-appropriate, sensible, and daresay christian comment on my part. i am sorry you don't agree with that. host: kristina arriaga, what did you hear from carol in indiana? guest: well, she wants to raise her children in a particular way and i may or may not agree with her and you may or may not agree with that. but it is her choice. government can only interfere with it are serious issues. when there is a danger to a child, issues associated with education. there are places when the government can say this is in the compelling interest of the country, but it should be up to our families to discuss this. i think your expedition to your
child was beautiful. but he was yours perry did the government giving the text on how to do it? no. host: carol sounded like she thought that her children were being damaged by what she saw on tv by maybe what she saw out in public. guest: by exposure. well society changes. the point is that we cannot always go with the change and we cannot always agree with the but we get to pick and understand what we believe. we as americans have a very important right to have religious liberty. religious liberty is not the eccentric uncle of the liberal rights family. guest: -- host: is there anything that you disagree with? do you think carol's children are being damaged? guest: i understand and i get letters that there in my life that say the same thing on a regular basis during i understand that. but i think in america, we have to find a way in which we are going to condemn, as parents
the things that we see on television, in the movies that we disagree with. this is not rocket science. this is simply a way we can communicate with our own children the values that we hold dear. that is a good thing. this transcends the gay, lesbian issue. the bill that governor hutchinson signed just yesterday said it mirrors federal law, but now that federal law, thanks to the hobby lobby decision or not thanks to the hobby lobby decision if kristina arriaga were not here, we cannot discriminate in the provision of medical care to women. we can deny them some or all contraceptives. the becket fund now believes that signing a paper, many groups, for example, notre dame where we represent several graduate women, they get a right
to say not only will he not provided, we won't even do with the regulations say which is sign a statement -- i think it is 634 words, drop it in the mailbox and say as a matter of conscience, we cannot provide it. which means the government is under an obligation to go and find contraceptives through some other party. it is very cheap to provide them if you are talking about an insurance company. i believe your present noted -- if not notre dame, you represent people refusing to sign a piece of paper proclaiming that they conscientiously opposed providing contraceptives or allowing anybody else to do it. am i wrong or right? guest: probably so. we represent little sisters of the poor. they are in order of catholic nuns. they serve the dying elderly. they employ 1500 employees, even though they are the little sisters of the poor, the
government does not consider them religious enough to get the religious extension. they do not -- they cannot in good conscience, they cannot provide contraceptives and abortion drugs to their employees. the fact is that -- guest: who is asking them to question like they're asking to sign a paper. host: before we go too far here, let her finish a statement and then we will move on. guest: well, what the government initially set is you have to provide contraceptives. we have to go all the way to the supreme court. the supreme court told the government, no, you cannot say that paper is meaningless and at the same time for some to sign a piece of paper. when the sisters find -- signed a piece of paper they trigger a contractual agreement for someone is to provide these same medications that they cannot provide to their employees. it is absurd that the government, which already gives millions of dollars and titled funding through congress to planned parenthood clinics where women can go and obtain the drugs were free, it is a
shame that the government is insisting that they need this order of nuns to provide these drugs to their 1500 employees. host: both of our guests have graduate degrees from georgetown university. barry lynn has a lot of great and kristina arriaga has a masters degree. jim in florida, thank you for holding. please, go ahead. caller: actually, i had a question but the gentleman answered in the beginning of the show. now i have a couple of comments and help you give me a quick minute. my first comment is that if you really believe that gay people choose to be gay and they are not born that way, then you must believe that we are all attracted to both genders, we just choose to be with one or the other. i don't expect you to answer this on the air, of course, the three of you, but you must ask yourself, am i really attracted to both genders and i just choose to be with one or the other? host: what do you think, jim?
caller: i think we are born that way. i can remember as a very little boy the very first time i saw men and thought to myself, oh that is very attractive but i have never seen a woman that way. even as a 40-year-old today. i don't want to get to blunt on the air, but as i look at adult information on my, if it has something to do with a female or the female form, i am not attracted to that and i go on to the next page. host: how does that relate to our discussion today? caller: as far as to religious liberty, as a 40-year-old they never experienced walking into a restaurant and saying black people not being allowed to eat there or seem water fountains for one people and another set of people. when i asked my dad this, it boggles my mind that in america, there was a time when that happened. i wondered -- i always wondered how it got to that point. i can see now how you can hide
behind something -- kind of like the ku klux klan hides behind her sanity and why they did -- behind christianity and why the way they did those things that think the way they think. you can see how a country can get that way, where we start separating ourselves from each other. host: jim, we have a few minutes left. thank you for your input. we will start with kristina arriaga. guest: it is true that he breaks up the fabric of american society when you see these issues come up that people feel like there is a separation among our citizens. i don't understand -- i cannot claim that i knew what is in the heart of every single person that was advocating for this in indiana or arkansas, but i can say that taking away religious liberty simply to the -- something to people like the little sisters of the poor and many other clients that we represent, simply because there was a lot of bad press associated with this and it is not the answer. guest: i don't think it is about
bad press. i think with the eagle feather case, i agree with you. little sisters of the poor won't sign a paper and that might trigger something else. this is like saying if you are a pacifist in a church of the brethren. you don't have to pay your taxes because you know that some small fraction of those will be used to trigger the purchase of a weapon or about bullet. guest: in that case went to court and they lost. guest: right, but should they have one? guest: no. my point is not the original religious freedom act -- the religious believer is not right in every single case. guest: exactly. i am not asking up. i'm asking you under the same trigger idea, isn't it true that a pacifist in a pacifist church should be able to refuse to pay taxes because some portion of it will be used to buy weapons? guest: that case has come up again and again. guest: i don't care what -- with
all due respect to the supreme court, they are not always are. what do you think? guest: they are not always right. it depends on the case and taxes, but i believe they get their day in court. you don't. host: kristina arriaga, indiana has a large amish popular issue. should the amish be required in the restaurants, and what they may still end -- cell and their stores, be required to follow indiana health department standards? guest: we have many amish clients and they are known for their beautiful buildings and their way of building things. they were persecuted in upstate new york and we defended them. we said they had a longtime tradition of building these homes that were great according to their religious police and they should not be forced, by some sort of code and regulation and standard, to be forced to violate those police. host: do you agree with that? guest: i agree when it comes to housing, but let -- but when it comes to closer questions for example of child safety.
they have got to congress and said we want young people, 12-year-olds 14-year-olds to be able to use tools that the state says it cannot use when you are a young child. i think that is wrong. i understand it, i believe they are sincere, i don't think they should prevail. do you? guest: no, as a matter of fact i agree with you. i think the court has a right to test sincerity. for instance, i always get asked what the religion claimed it had a right to sacrifice humans? well, as a mother of three teenagers, frankly, for moment i intended to say us. but of course not. the government has a role when it comes to security, rejecting children of saying no, you cannot do that. i sincere as you claim the believe this. you cannot do that. host: this conversation will continue on sunday. we have tony perkins of the family research council on our "newsmakers" program at 10:00 on sunday morning and 6:00 eastern time.
bob is in plymouth, indiana northern indiana. go ahead, bob. caller: i just want to say i think i am in a vastly growing minority in this country. i am white and i'm conservative person male. -- christian male. open comments about minorities are a lot of this country but i would like to share on this topic as a conservative christian i believe the bible is god's word. i believe in heaven and hell and i believe in a god and a double. i believe as a christian the primary response abilities. one, love all people. it is not my job to judge those that are of other worlds, but as a christian mike job is to -- my job is to share my faith and not to dissipate in where the world gets blended with god. as a christian i've got to
speak god's truth. he is my boss. not the government, not my employer. there are times i've got to put god on the shelf even myself because i work in a public institution. i believe in serving all people. i use this analogy often. if i am walking by a pond and someone is drowning, do i help them or not? i would help them. and when i believe that the consequences of senate -- the separation from god -- i cannot partake in activities that would help a person to go down that path. that ends in the place, by my belief, in internal sub -- eternal separation from god's love. in this life i love all people and in this life, i don't judge people. but i love other people. host: thank you bob.
we will leave it there. two are for calling them. you each got 15 seconds to close. we will finish with kristina arriaga. guest: in my sense, the colleges that he is in a public job. unfortunately, there is an organization like the becket fund called alliance defending freedom and they have written to county clerks in those jurisdictions where there is marriage equality right now and write today saying that they have the authority, if they have a religious and conscientious belief against it, not to sign marriage licenses. i think we have sent out a memo to the same clerks saying that is completely wrong. that is not with the religious freedom restoration act was ever meant to do. i'm curious what -- whether kristina arriaga agrees with me or the alliance. host: you have 30 seconds as well. guest: i want to say that i love this country. you can still have the a change of ideas and that we can have religious diversity.
people who say that certain views are repulsive should not exist in society. people that station on the print -- practice or religious and homer the church is not what i found a mother's meant. we at the becket fund supports all organizations, a through z. host: kristina arriaga. very limp, executive director of american united separation of church and state. -- barry lynn. two are probing on "washington journal." please, come back. >> timothy noah talks about march jobs numbers. bloomberg reported carter dougherty talks about the proposed regulations on short-term payday loans. daniel raymond of the harm reduction coalition talks about efforts by some state to start needle exchange programs. to fight outbreaks of hiv and hepatitis c. we take your calls and you can join the conversation at facebook and twitter.
"washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> this weekend, the c-span cities tour has heart and with cox communications to learn about the history and literary life of tolls of, obama. >> frank phillips was an oil man. phillips 66 was a company he founded just north of us here in tulsa, oklahoma, which became the headquarters for phillips 66. today, you still see the mike phillips 66 shields. phillips 66 has become for me are too many people out here as a coke bottle. it is that iconic in the minds of many motorists. he was part of that flamboyant oil fraternity that came out of
the -- in the late 19th century into the 20th century and flourished. these were men, as very macho who had amazingly solid egos. they were very sure of themselves and that was very important. but he was human. that is all part of the story. the good, bad, ugly. but he was many things. but always, first and foremost, he was an oil man. >> watch all of our events from tulsa, oklahoma, today at noon eastern on c-span2 book tv and on american history tv on c-span3. >> next, remarks by nsa director admiral michael rogers. after that, the president of iran addressing his nation about the nuclear program agreement, followed by an in-depth discussion on the new framework.
>> on thursday, the nsa director and head of u.s. cyber command admiral michael rogers gave the keynote speech at a cyber security summit in washington dc . the event was hosted by the armed forces negotiations and of talks association. it is 35 minutes. [laughter] michael rogers: can you hear me all the way in the back? can you hear me all the way in the corner? well, i've got to play. first thing i heard was someone say world type. what the heck is a matter with his audience? you don't insult the guy when he shows up at a place. [laughter] thank you very much for taking time for your -- time from your busy lives for what i think is a very important topic for us as a nation.
this collated -- this whole idea of cyber security and cyber defense. what brings michael rogers to spend some time with you today question mark as the commander -- as the commander of the united states cyber command their missions. response ability for defending networks. this possibility for defending the networks of the department of defense. a large organization and multiple of millions of people spread around the globe operating from fixed locations mobile locations, and multiple levels of security. second mission is to generate the dedicated cyber workforce if you will, that the department is creating. that workforce will work from the defensive side and offense inside. that is about 6200 people who were about halfway through the process of creating that workforce. the third mission set by u.s. cyber command is when directed by the secretary of defense to defend critical u.s. infrastructure. as some of you are aware the federal government has
designated 60 different segments in the private sector as having specific implications for the nation's security. about aviation, think about power. there are 16 different segments. as director of the national security agency, two sets are closely related. nsa, a foreign intelligence organization. the second mission that is incredibly important for the nation i believe in the cyber security arena is nsa has an information assurance mission. we use the capabilities of the mission to help develop the security standards for the department of defense to partner with other elements in the federal government and to do it for government systems and governmentwide wide. also increasingly to use our capabilities to help partner with the department of homeland security and the fbi. and partnering with the private sector. they're quite quickly, has not been a major security
penetration on the private sector in the last six months or so that ultimately we have not ended up on the nsa site partnering with fbi and dhs to help provide our expertise to analyze what happened, how did they get in, what is the nature of the malware or technique they used, and helping to develop the counters, if you will, to that. and given the echo, i will step away from this and see if my lapel mic works. nsa united states cyber command to organizations with fundamental roles for the federal government and -- in the cyber security arena. not the old -- not the only organizations with roles for cyber security. i first observation in one year in the job and actually today marks my specific one year anniversary as the commander of the united states cyber command and director of the cyber security. today is an anniversary differently. [applause] [laughter]
michael rogers: we partner with the -- with the department of homeland to pretty and the federal bureau of investigation and we partner with other elements within the department of defense. we partner in the private sector. one of my takeaways after a year in the job and i believe this before i got the job and has only been reinforced by the events of the last year, cyber is the ultimate team sport. there is no one one single entity that has all the answers. there is no one single technology that is going to solve this problem. in the end, it is all about our ability to harness the partnerships and to bring together a pretty wide spectrum of capability to help us. we have got to build -- bridge the private sector and the public sector. and we've got to bring this together in an integrated way if we are truly going to defend our nations vertical infrastructure, -- critical and for such a which , is one of the specific missions for u.s. cyber command. but i would argue more broadly
if we are going to defend the systems of the private sector within our nation, we have got to bring together the private sector and the public sector in a way that traditionally we have not seen. we have got to do this real-time and we have got to do this in an enduring basis. it can't just be that when we only interact with -- interact each other is when things are going on. sony was a problem and if i'm honest i was struck by, this is , great, but the cow is out of the barn. now we are reacting and this is a cleanup on aisle nine scenario. i don't think that gets us where we need to be in the future. where we need to the in the future is the ability to harness a set of partnerships that allows us to interact with each other in a real-time basis so that i, using the capabilities of an essay and cyber community -- the capabilities of nsa and